I’ve dreamt of making delicate, light and crispy tuiles for a long time, but my egg-free attempts never worked. Whilst the results had been passable but they certainly weren’t good enough to be classed as an authentic wafer-thin tuile. It’s such a versatile classic recipe in which the paper thin, lightly scented biscuit or wafer is moulded into a variety of shapes – the classic tuile literally translates as ‘roof tile’ thanks to its gently curved shape. They add the finishing touch to any fine dessert when curled into straws (as often found in ice creams and sorbets), or they can be moulded into baskets or folded into cones.
The key feature of a tuile is that it has to be wafer thin. To achieve this, the dough needs to be thinly spread over a template, baked, and then a few seconds after coming out of the oven, carefully removed from the baking tray. To do this requires a palette knife and the tuile needs to be moulded straight away. Delay by even a few seconds and you’ve missed your chance; the tuile will shatter and break rather than be pliable. As speed is key I would suggest only baking a couple at a time, which makes this a laborious process, but there’s no real way round it.
I have to say that I am utterly delighted with the results of this recipe, they are so authentic that I dare anyone to taste a difference between these made with aquafaba ( water from a tin of cooked beans or pulses) and those made with the traditional egg white. We can’t. D said he was immediately transported back to childhood holidays with the French side of his family, eating lemon sorbet with a crispy tuile straw tucked into the frozen delight. So the results must be pretty good for a comparison like that!
So lemon sorbet seemed to be the right thing to serve mine with (this one from New Forest Ices is egg, dairy and nut free) which went down a total treat. I also moulded some into baskets which is another classic tuile shape and filled that with creme pat and fresh fruit – yummy!
Egg-free Tuiles (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
1/2 cup dairy-free spread or margarine
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp aquafaba
1 1/2 tsps vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup plain flour
- First cut a template out of cardboard, you want two circles with a diameter of 10-20cm. Then either line a cookie sheet with parchment and lightly grease, or use a non-stick baking mat. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade or 375 degrees fahrenheit
- Whisk together the spread and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Whip in the aquafaba and vanilla. (If the mixture starts to split quickly add 1tbsp of flour). Whisk in the rest of the flour and the salt until you have a smooth, velvety dough.
- Spread a thin layer of dough inside each template, being as even and careful as possible. Remove the template.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until starting to turn a light golden
- Remove from the oven and wait a few seconds, then start to manoeuvre a palette knife under the tuile. As soon as it it removed from the baking sheet, mould into preferred shape. It will cool and hold the shape within seconds.
- Store in a sealed container until ready to use.
To make a classic tuile:
Once removed from the baking sheet immediately lie the cookie over a rolling pin and it should form the correct curved tile look
To make a basket:
Once removed from the baking sheet, press around the base of a glass to form a basket
To make a straw:
Once the palette knife has made sure the tuile is no longer attached to the baking sheet, gently roll around the handle of a wooden spoon.